Osgoode PhD student Estair Van Wagner has been selected to receive a prestigious 2014 Endeavour Research Fellowship. It is an internationally competitive award and comes with a $24,000 stipend that will enable Van Wagner to spend four to six months at the Faculty of Law at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) carrying out a portion of her doctoral research and working with property and environmental law Professor Nicole Graham.
Van Wagner’s research examines the conflicts that arise in land use planning disputes about resource extraction. She is interested in the ways in which people make claims to land that fall outside the traditional property ownership framework, particularly assertions of relationship to a particular place that demonstrate the complex overlapping relations we have with property.
“Here in Ontario I study recent disputes about quarry development in Southwestern Ontario,” Van Wagner said. “In Australia, I will be examining recent disputes about coal seam gas extraction (what we call fracking), in which similar issues about how the law deals with competing claims to land have arisen in the peri-urban regions around Sydney.”
Van Wagner, who will start her fellowship in November 2014, said she is “honoured … and delighted” to have been chosen an Endeavour Research Fellow. “I know the Fellowship will strengthen my doctoral research as I now have the support of both my supervisor (Osgoode Professor) Roxanne Mykitiuk and my fantastic committee at Osgoode, and will benefit from the expertise of Dr. Graham and the resources of the Faculty of Law at UTS.”